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What’s the Connection Between Shame and Victimhood?

Photo: frankieleon on flickr

Photo: frankieleon on flickr

Dear Readers,

I decided to write this week about my own personal edge these days. It’s the thing that I’ve been working on, or rather, the thing that’s been working me. There have been some deep transformations going on over here. So I thought I’d share some of that process, in case it serves you.

I will start with a little shout out to my current personal favorite teacher-guru-person, Dr. Joe Dispenza. You may remember him from the movie, ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?’ Dr. Joe is a neuroplasticity researcher, meditation expert, and Quantum Physics geek. I love his work! I’ve been using a few of his meditations, each morning, for almost a year now.

The most recent groove I’ve been in is utilizing the meditation that accompanies and supports his book, Changing the Habit of Being Yourself. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it!

I’ve done decades of work about both victimhood and shame and have radically transformed as a result. But new layers have been blessing me recently.

I spent many years knowing I was a victim. It took decades of sobriety, therapy, and inner work of all types to realize that this was not the Truth. The Universe is not actually out to get me! It took me decades to figure this out.

But I had not ever made the connection, so directly, between the victimhood I felt and shame. That is, until these past few months.  Suddenly, I saw that the reason I had perceived of myself as a victim was because I had deserved to be one! Because of the deep, unconscious remnants of shame still acting habitually in my thinking.

I know, more and more fully, that there is no aspect of me that is – for lack of a better word – reject-worthy. It is a scientific reality that I am made of the stuff of the divine (as are you). So it is simply illogical to imagine that there is any aspect of my being that is worthy or deserving of shame.

When I know this, there is no victim-stance that can stick. I am open to learning and growing, of course. But doing so by making my current self wrong is not helpful at all! And making others wrong, being a victim of them or of Life Itself, doesn’t allow for the growth either.

As I simply observe a mistake, I can easily shift and choose to do something different in the future.

I also see now that sometimes I was affirming, visualizing and claiming my greater good in a way that revealed my shame and victim-stance.

There were times my intentions were tinged with fear. A fear that my desire would never happen because maybe the underlying shame was based on a reality of my un-worthiness.

Other times, my visualization was infused with a cautionary determination. This determination was powered by a need to overcome the “fact” that what I was hoping for was inappropriate for me (because I was not deserving, because of shame). Whew!

Sometimes, this same underlying sense of unworthiness also led to guilt when something awesome would take place. I would sometimes struggle to allow myself to feel okay about receiving it.

All of this was, for me, about needing to feel safe in the world. When I was growing up, my very well-meaning mother wanted to be sure her children would not seem braggadocios or arrogant. Unfortunately, I interpreted her reminders not to be openly proud as messages that I had no reason to feel good about myself. I actually connected feeling good about myself as something I should feel ashamed for. (This is a very simplified description of a complicated dynamic, but you get the gist.)

What I continue to deepen into is Truth. The Truth that there is truly no reason why I shouldn’t be as successful, happy, and fulfilled as I desire.  And I don’t need to find reasons why my life sucks in order to stay safe in the world!

You can imagine that this is a pretty sweet revelation. I feel more open, free, and grateful than ever. Meditation continues to bless my life.

Blessings and Love to you in all you do!


What is your experience with shame? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com

Coming up! This Sunday, March 5th at the Center for Spiritual Awareness: Z and I will be providing the music and message for the 9:00 and 11:00 am service. For more info, click HERE!


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4 Responses to What’s the Connection Between Shame and Victimhood?

  1. julane jazzique February 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    Love you Melissa ❤❤
    Love this paragraph
    “I’ve done decades of work about both victimhood and shame and have radically transformed as a result. But new layers have been blessing me recently.”
    “Blessing me recently”
    Brilliant!!! Seriously.
    Attitude zips me from victim to victorious.
    Do I languish in my self imposed jail of Victimology or realize the blessings?
    It may not be present as of yet, that other thread, patience…. plays its part in the healing.
    As you stated in a fashion.
    the layers at times seems to be like a Tangled rope, dragged through the mud, knots, blocks, a deep vacuous well of WTH!
    Emotions I didn’t have a name for.
    I only knew I felt like I was going to fall and never see light again.
    I remember the shame I felt,
    so deep, the fear of being seen, reprimanded,
    ” made the fool of” in the simple act of getting up to go to the bathroom at a meeting.
    Not being able to ask a date to turn the heat down in his car.
    A Volkswagen bug no less, blasting my feet to what felt , 3rd degree burns. Shame.
    Shame. A very self involved emotion.
    Did I even consider his feelings of the heat on his feet ?
    Never ! :-) yes he could have cared for himself….. :-)))))
    John Bradshaw brought all that shame into a vocabulary that made sense.
    Victimology unfortunately has been given a badge of honor these days. A sense of belonging with other Victimologist.
    A certain strength erupts in being the biggest victim.
    Naming what our Shame is is vital.
    Believing I have the right to dictate to others because of my victimhood, only feeds the beast of less then, never enough.
    There is a certain self righteous jolt of energy I would receive from my victimhood.
    Continuing down that healing path ( what’s the title of your song that speaks on the healing path?)
    I was shamed again , to see the arrogance of holding my victimology as a shield of excuses. How I demanded in a certain vocabulary how to be treated.
    Again, giving my power away to an outer force for me to be comfortable in my own skin.
    Oh the twist and turns. The fine line of victim to healing.
    Boundaries or Entitlement Arrogance.
    Believing people had to treat me a certain way, not realizing I ! Had to treat ME A CERTAIN WAY hahahaha.
    Externalizing my Victimology left me weak.
    Just one step away from that magic equation of ok ness, if I was treated just right.
    All along I would hear “it’s an inside job.”
    Yet until I could grasp the tiniest filament of what that meant. I would continue to blame the Outer for my Inner self sabatoge.
    Shame has a healthy side, like stopping me from doing something. Conscious.

    That dark soul killing shame though….
    All along self imposed by my interpretation of others behavior.
    Personalizing it.
    I believed they had the power to make me confident or rip my being apart at any moment.
    Nobody can give me that inner core of strength but G-D, creator , spirit.
    I must trust it through.

    Those fine lines of listening to others valid points, and the tripping into narcissistic ALL ABOUT ME. Don’t offend me control issues.
    The walk continues, the bumps come, the grateful heart of having grown , yet knowing that the path is ongoing.
    Arrogance another sabatoge :-))))
    Keeping my side of the street clean, helping others when it’s wanted. Checking my motivators, and being honest with myself.
    This interesting walk called life.
    A sense of humor also.
    A must.
    If I can’t laugh at myself, my foibles.
    When I can’t laugh at me, I know I’ve stepped back into the arrogant self righteous control issue.
    knowing my clean boundaries, or is it controlling blockades.

    Love your posts. Z’s blog. As you can see , as always. Thought provoking

    • Melissa Phillippe March 1, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

      Julane! So DEEP! And prophetic…poetry and in-your-face Truth. THANK YOU!

      The songs that come to mind are one of these,
      The Healing Storm, or
      Kicking & Screaming (Down the Path of Transformation)

      (both of which totally relate…LOL)

      Another note: Brenee Brown (queen of shame wisdom, who my friend, Becka, says – and we agree – should wear a cape, she’s so friction’ awesome) delineates between guilt and shame… I agree with that delineation…cuz, in my experience, shame never serves me, but guilt can… I have to get myself from shame back up to guilt before I can even have the awareness that the “horrible thing I’ve said or done” was not simply evidence (again) that I suck…but a mistake that I could choose to learn from, and awaken in a way that gives me choice…like maybe not have to make the same mistake again!

      Indeed… so much intertwining and so many layers…and SUCH a blessing!
      NO MORE burning feet!

      Love and appreciate you, my friend.

  2. julane jazzique March 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    Kicking and Screaming! That’s it! 😂😂😂❤❤❤👍🏿
    I still remember the first time I heard your song.
    I think back to the “Burning Feet ” person I was… what a long winding Wow journey it’s been.
    Back then, I had zero idea I could be different from what I felt. Feelings were my reality.
    Feelings ruled my very existence.
    Always tettering on someone else’s approval or Gasp disapproval.
    Feelings literally could ruin my day to the extent I wouldn’t go to work, I wouldn’t try out for something I really wanted to try. Feelings were allowed to guide choices for EVERYTHING.

    I am so very grateful to have had so many “teachers” along the way .
    Friends like you who ” get it” .
    The beginning of the journey, when eyes would glaze over. I felt crazy. Like why aren’t “They” asking themselves these questions?
    The random “Theys ” Also !
    Who are those ” Theys” I kept trying to live up to anyway 😂😂😂
    Faceless Shame Bodies dwelling within, That’s The “Theys”!

    Thank you G-D that I finally heard /listened to the still small voice.
    Thank you G-D for on going recovery from my Feelings.
    The blessing of being able to step back, in a triggered moment and truly KNOW, this is my wound, it’s a blessing that I’m triggered, now it can be worked on, it’s in the light. Most important! 🙏🏼🙏🏼
    NOT take my wound out on someone else. Possibly shaming them…
    Being triggered, offended , has such brilliant lessons to be learned from.
    I grow more into me, each time I see it for the blessing it is.
    Sometimes / often times in retrospect.
    But I’m no longer “let a Volkswagen heater burn my feet” person.
    I am now able to ask if they are comfortable…. wow such a long way from that afraid young woman.
    Not easy work to do , but my goodness what a better life I have because of those that go before me, with me.
    Thank you Melissa for being a part of that ongoing journey. Grateful to be able to call you friend.
    Much love and Blessing to you and Z 😘😘

  3. julane jazzique March 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Yes ! The delineation between Guilt and Shame .
    Thank you !
    Shame really is that deep seated dark place of stored misinformation about myself.

    Guilt is the wow what did I just say, do, think even.

    Fantastic 😘

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